Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Doha Asian Games Experience

I was just lucky to be in Doha back in 2006 when Qatar won the bid to host the 15th Asian Games.

Back in Manila, where they usually host the South East Asian Games, I always ignored joining to become a volunteer with them.

But there I was joining the biggest sporting event in Asia not even in my wildest dreams.

Recruitment was also tough to volunteer with them. You have to register online, do their pre-screening, wait for a call if you are successful in the application, then hope for a possible interview by the Doha Asian Games Staff. Once called, then it's time to fill up their lengthy forms to scrutinize your credentials by them. Then you have to wait again for the next step.

Time availability was very crucial. Since I was working then, that would mean some sleepless nights to proceed with the volunteering? I just can't imagine at that time.

I volunteered myself for no salary at all, so I can buy my own time and serve them part time if possible.

But as the Games was fast approaching and the whole country of Doha was all agogged and excited in hosting. Schedules were fixed especially for the working volunteers. Lucky enough, that was held in December and some schools were given the power to excuse the volunteers to serve.

Suddenly, a change in my assigment was declared. I should now be the Team Liaison Officer for Hockey with pay! 2,000 riyals was the payment for the 2 week duration.

The Chinese Taipei Hockey Team was assigned to me. I need to arrange their transport, orient them about Doha and others. In short. I was their link with the host country.

Their manager had good command of English on which I was very thankful and was able to communicate with the rest of my athletes.

The Asian Games was very successful and the Emir of Qatar doubled our pay! 4,000 riyals this time. That's 60,000 pesos worth??? Hmm... I shopped a lot. LOL.

AND... the Emir gave me a Pierre Balmain swiss watch as a gift!

The manager of Chinese Taipei also gave me a USD 100 as tip. Not bad isn't it? LOL

Of course, Filipina Broadway and West End Star Lea Salonga sang at the Closing Ceremony. The only performer on that rite.

My next target? The 2012 London Olympics. =)

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